Advertisement

Erkenntnis

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 43–59 | Cite as

The Claims of Future Persons

Original Research
  • 371 Downloads

Abstract

This paper defends a deontological egalitarianism in the ethics of future generations. Concerns about the non-identity problem have been taken as a reason to develop sufficientarian approaches to intergenerational justice. This paper argues for a solution to the non-identity problem that refers to the claims of future persons. In principle, the content of these claims could be spelled out with a sufficientarian and an egalitarian approach. What speaks against sufficientarianism, however, is that the sufficiency threshold, unless it is set very low, would have to be set arbitrarily. The hidden justification behind a higher threshold would be egalitarian. It draws its plausibility from the justified belief that future persons have a claim on us that we leave equally valuable shares of natural resources to them.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Maike Albertzart, Roland Hesse, Johanna Privitera, Lukas Tank, Gabriel Wollner and the two reviewers for their critical remarks and helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

References

  1. Baier, A. (2010). Reflections on how we live. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barry, B. (1977). Justice between generations. In P. M. S. Hacker & J. Raz (Eds.), Law, morality, and society. Essays in honour of H.L.A Hart (pp. 268–284). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  3. Barry, B. (1983). Intergenerational justice in energy policy. In D. Maclean & P. Brown (Eds.), Energy and the future (pp. 15–30). Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  4. Barry, B. (1999). Sustainability and intergenerational justice. In A. Dobson (Ed.), Fairness and futurity. Essays on environmental sustainability (pp. 93–117). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boonin, D. (2008). How to solve the non-identity problem. Public Affairs Quarterly, 22(2), 127–157.Google Scholar
  6. Broome, J. (1999). Ethics out of economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Casal, P. (2007). Why sufficiency is not enough. Ethics, 117(2), 296–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hanser, M. (2009). Harming and procreating. In M. A. Roberts & D. T. Wassermann (Eds.), Harming future persons. Ethics, genetics and the nonidentity problem (pp. 179–199). Heidelberg: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hare, C. (2007). Voices from another world: Must we respect the interests of people who do not, and will never, exist? Ethics, 117(3), 498–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Harman, E. (2004). Can we harm and benefit in creating? Philosophical Perspectives, 18(1), 89–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harman, E. (2009). Harming as Causing Harm. In M. A. Roberts & D. T. Wasserman (Eds.), Harming future persons. Ethics, genetics and the nonidentity problem (pp. 137–154). Heidelberg: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huseby, R. (2010a). Person-affecting moral theory, non-identity and future people. Environmental Values, 19, 193–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Huseby, R. (2010b). Sufficieny: Restated and defended. Journal of Political Philosophy, 18(2), 178–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kumar, R. (2003). Who can be wronged? Philosophy & Public Affairs, 31(2), 99–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kumar, R. (2009). Wronging future people: A contractualist proposal. In A. Gosseries & L. H. Meyer (Eds.), Intergenerational justice (pp. 251–272). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lippert-Rasmussen, K. (2007). The insignificance of the distinction between telic and deontic egalitarianism. In N. Holtug & K. Lippert-Rasmussen (Eds.), Egalitarianism: New essays on the nature and value of equality (pp. 101–124). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  17. Meyer, L. (2004). Historical injustice and the right of return. Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 5(2), 305–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Meyer, L. H., & Roser, D. (2009). Enough for the future. In A. Gosseries & L. H. Meyer (Eds.), Intergenerational justice (pp. 219–248). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nagel, T. (1970). The possibility of altruism. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Page, T. (1983). Intergenerational justice as opportunity. In D. Maclean & P. G. Brown (Eds.), Energy and the future (pp. 38–58). Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  21. Page, E. (2007). Justice between generations: Investigating a sufficientarian approach. Journal of Global Ethics, 3(1), 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Parfit, D. (1984). Reasons and persons. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  23. Parfit, D. (2000). Equality or priority? In Clayton, M., Willams, A. (Eds.), The ideal of equality (pp. 81–125). London/New York: Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  24. Parfit, D. (2004). Postscript. In Ryberg, J., Tännsjö, T. (Eds.), The repugnant conclusion. Essays on population ethics (p. 257). Dorndrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.)Google Scholar
  25. Parfit, D. (2010). Energy policy and the further future. The identity problem. In S. M. Gardiner et al. (Eds.), Climate ethics. Essential readings (pp. 112–121). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Parfit, D. (2011). On what matters. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rawls, J. (1999). A theory of justice (Revised ed.). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Shields, L. (2012). The prospects for sufficientarianism. Utilitas, 24(1), 101–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shiffrin, S. (1999). Wrongful life, procreative responsibility, and the significance of harm. Legal Theory, 5(2), 117–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shiffrin, S. (2012). Harm and its moral significance. Legal Theory, 18(3), 357–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Steiner, H., & Vallentyne, P. (2009). Libertarian theories of intergenerational justice. In A. Gosseries & L. H. Meyer (Eds.), intergenerational justice (pp. 50–76). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Velleman, D. J. (2008). Persons in prospect. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 36(3), 221–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Woodward, J. (1986). The non-identity problem. Ethics, 96(4), 804–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für PhilosophieHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations